Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sullivan School Dress

  A couple of months ago Abby from Sew Much Ado came out with a really cute new pattern. I tend to wait some time to buy new releases, but I liked this one enough to buy it immediately!

  I initially wanted to make this up in some soft pastels, but when I had a chance to sew it a few weeks ago I didn't have any light fabrics that I liked together for this pattern... so I took a totally different direction and used some pretty fall tones.

  Beckers usually fits in 18 month or 2T patterns as far as chest width, but on this size chart she was a 3T, and a 4T in height as usual. I sewed up the 3T and added 2" of length to the skirt hem- it fits her really well! (Or, it did when I sewed it. Since I took these photos she's grown a couple more inches and now it's a bit short.)

  I wasn't sure what to expect, since this was the first pattern from Sew Much Ado that I've sewn, but it was good! This one has illustrations to explain the steps, which is my preference, although I think her other patterns use photos.

  I was delighted to discover that the sleeve cap and armscyes are NOT symmetrical from front to back! There are still some wrinkles are the back armscye, but the front is just about perfect, and I love the sleeve detail:

  The scalloped layer of the bodice floats freely over the lining layer, and there's an elastic casing on the lining layer where the skirt attaches.

  Most of the edges are trued, with the exception of the lower bodice edge for the scalloped version (although the bodice layer is trued for the plain-edge version) and the scallop facing. The scallop facing is really the only thing I disliked about the pattern... it has a double-fold hem at the top edge, which seems unnecessary to me, possible even detrimental to helping the scalloped portion stay in place, and was also slightly difficult to sew with the dip at the side seams there. Next time I would true that edge, and do a serged edge or a single-fold hem there instead.

  The pattern suggests a flat-felled seam for the lining side seams, but I did a regular seam and serged the edges... with the waist seam and sleeve seams also being serged, it made more sense to me to also finish the lining that way.

  The back closure is a keyhole with a button and loop. I used an interesting button that I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.

  The red fabric is Moda Bella Solid Country Red, leftover from the girls' Christmas dresses, and I think the print is something I picked up at a yardsale a few years ago, but it could also have been gifted to me. The selvedge says 'The Whole Country Caboodle by Leanne Anderson.'

  I promise I pressed this dress! Those wrinkles just did NOT want to come out, even when I used starch. I suspect that my iron isn't getting quite as hot as it used to.

  Anyway, I will definitely be using the pattern again, I think it's adorable! And when asked if she liked her new dress, Beckers responded, "I DEW!" =)

Thanks for stopping by,


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Yoked Daisy Swing Top

 Several months ago I was doodling and came up with a few knit shirt ideas I wanted to try out. This is the first of them!

  I'm considering turning this one into a multi-sized pattern, so I started by drafting a knit tee block in a standard size, then altering it into this design.

 I lengthened it a couple of inches at the hem for Booper, who is a bit taller than average for a six-year-old.

  I love yokes on little girls! I made flat piping from some mustard ponte I had leftover from other projects (also used here and here) and inserted it between the yoke and main body.

  The main body portion is very flared, for a fun swingy silhouette.

  The sleeves are gathered, and I used elastic thread an inch above the hem for a ruffled look:

  The hems are lettuce-edged, of course. =)

  I wanted to keep pattern pieces to a minimum for this, and I think I succeeded in that... there is a yoke piece, a sleeve piece, and a body piece. It's the same in the front and back, so it could be worn either direction.  Well, except for the label I sewed into the yoke! I bought mine from The Dutch Label Shop. Isn't that fun? I just wish I'd sewn it on straight....

  The fabrics are all from Girl Charlee... the floral is a rayon-blend jersey (no longer available, but this one appears to be a different colorway of the same print), the mustard is a ponte knit bought a couple of years ago, and the white is a basic cotton/spandex blend.

  I am really, really happy with how this one turned out! It's even cuter than I expected it to be, and I love the way it hangs and moves!

  And somehow I managed to make it, from drafting the knit block to weaving in the serger threads, in only about 6 hours! Quite a contrast to my current project, which I started months ago.

  It's also Booper's new favorite shirt! Why? Apparently it's very comfortable!

  I want to make a Foof-sized one of these next, but in dress length! Hopefully that ends up as cute as it is in my head!

  I've also got a few ideas for variations on the yoke and sleeves... If only I had time to sew them!

  My usual sewing time has been reduced to a mere nubbin lately, and I've been too tired to do much in the remainder. I need to figure out a system that works better for us! I suspect that the solution lies in a much earlier bedtime and morning for me, so I can sneak in some sewing before the girls wake up.

  That's also why I haven't been posting as often.... I can't write a full post in 15 minutes! And when I spread it out over several days I have a hard time making it cohesive.

  But I'm happy I had some time today! =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Missy Dress and Baby Slip

I finished the smocked baby dress I was working on!

  It's about time- I bought the material for it last year! I originally planned to make this for my sweet cousin's baby, who was born in January. Unfortunately, my slow progress (I didn't actually cut the dress out until about May...) and her rapid growth means that it probably won't fit her now.

  I put off smocking it for a long time because the pleating-by-hand process is a bit tedious, and I was hoping to obtain a pleater. I finally hand-pleated it, but in the meantime, I tatted some lace for the sleeves! I didn't end up using it in the final gown, because I'd tatted it in size 10 thread and it was just too heavy for this. I'll find somewhere else to use it though.

 I also sewed up a slip to go underneath it! This was from a pattern the lovely Karen sent me, and I sewed it up in the same material as the gown... white Imperial batiste.

  The slip pattern included this dainty embroidery design, which I decided to do in all-white. The embroidery floss I used caused some problems... it kept shredding! I think I'll stick with DMC thread next time.

  I usually slip-stitch everything, but this pattern mentioned using a whip-stitch for the hem and bindings, so I tried it out. I like it, it's quick and almost invisible! Here are the results on the outside:

  And on the inside:

  I bought some teeny-tiny 5mm buttons to use on the shoulders... it was either that or use some 5/8" ones, as that was the next size I had as far as cams for my buttonholer!

  The back of the slip is just plain:

  I like the slip, but I'd make some changes to the pattern if I were to use it again... I'd narrow the shoulder, deepen the armscye, and true the seams. Here it is on Foof... it's meant for a smaller baby, but you can see that the shoulders are a bit wide even on her:

    Then it was back to procrastinating on the baby gown for a while! ;-) Once I got to the smocking it didn't take too long though... and I love how it looks!

  This is the Children's Corner Missy, which is a single-size, newborn-to-18lb, pattern. It includes one smocking plate:

  As well as the embroidery design. I ended up buying another buttonholer just to get the cam size I needed for this... so now I can use 1/2" or 3/8" buttons!

  The seams aren't trued on this... for the most part that didn't cause a problem, except at that 2" deep hem! Since the side seams are angled, but the hem is straight, there was a lot of fabric near the seams that I just couldn't ease in. I finally re-sewed that section, taking the excess out of the hem, before hand-hemming with a slip-stitch.

  I'd planned to use a hemstitch needle for this, but I'm still using a vintage machine, and it doesn't have any stitches that worked to make the hemstitching look the way I wanted, even after heavily starching the fabric. (I sort-of-repaired my newer machine, but it still doesn't feed properly for a lot of the stitches... I should really just take it in and get it fixed properly.) So hand-hemming it was!

  The sleeves have a hand-sewn narrow rolled hem, but it isn't as narrow as it's supposed to be because I mistakenly pressed up 1/4" instead of 1/8". It's still pretty dainty though, I'd love to see what it looks like done properly!

  There's a bit of smocking on the sleeves too:

  Foof is 19lbs now, so I didn't expect it to fit her, but it does!

  And was she ever delighted when she looked in the mirror!

  She thought she was adorable, and I agree with that assessment!

  I used the daygown length of the pattern, so it's still plenty long enough.

  I used DMC floss for this, and it worked much better than whatever it was that I used on the slip.

  I'd make this pattern again, but I'd take care of that hem angle before it came time to hem!

  After all, it's pretty darling!

  Vintage-style garments really suit this little girl too.

  I thought it was interesting that the binding around the neckline has to be stretched to fit... but a good idea, so the neckline doesn't end up too large!

  I don't love that stitching the first pass on the binding made the pleats look a bit wobbly. Next time I'll try basting it, or maybe use wash-away wonder-tape.

  I had a tough time narrowing these photos down to a semi-reasonable amount!

  And that's in spite of the fact that she's at a tough age for photos...

  She doesn't quite understand (or isn't willing to do) what I want her to do, and just wants to be active!

  Anyway, I'm really happy with this dress, and it was worth the time I spent on it!

Thanks for stopping by,